I was intrigued by the feature on the Today Programme on Radio 4 this morning about my favourite writer George Orwell. Apparently the government have just released secret service files that they had on him. Now call me an old pedant, but I can’t believe that even our secret service could have been stupid enough to have a file on George Orwell. They probably had one on Eric Blair though. It turns out he wasn’t a threat and/or a communist. Well bugger me; you only have to read his books to work that one out!
I harbour a hope that, languishing somewhere in some dusty corner of mid to late seventies filing, there is a faded dossier containing details about me. After all I went on those ‘troops out’ marches, watched by Special Branch photographers on the roofs of buildings lining the routes. As a member of the Labour Party Young Socialists I help organise a summer school to which we invited and were seen socialising with a Sinn Fein member. I even attended the odd communist party meeting, although I never considered joining them. They were too earnest, too impractical and too fucking irritatingly anal. I also did my fair share of anti-Nazi/anti-racism marches. So I should be most displeased if I ever discovered that I didn’t get a mention somewhere for being a possible threat to national security. If I’m not I shall feel highly cheated. It will mean that I sat though things like endless debates with Militant Tendency devotees for nothing. Actually that’s a lie, as you didn’t debate with Militant Tendency, they were so far down the food chain that they were incapable of rational debate or even thought. They thought what they were told to think and managed to repeat it ad nauseam, and at every opportunity. Oh happy days!